WASHINGTON - Junior guard Trace Martin (Shingle Springs, Calif.) made one basket on Wednesday night but it was the most important one.
Martin's late-game heroics propelled Gallaudet University to a stunning 73-71 upset of Lancaster Bible College in a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) South Division showdown. The Bison (6-18, 6-9 NEAC) handed the Chargers (14-10, 11-4 NEAC) their first south division loss this season.
Gallaudet controlled the game, early on, but the Bison watched their 20-point second half lead vanish.
Lancaster Bible charged back and took its first lead with a 3-pointer with 3:05 left in regulation. It was the first Charger lead since the 6:37 mark in the first half.
The two teams traded free throws and tough baskets to set the stage for Martin and company.
The game was knotted at 71-71 after LBC made two free throws. Martin was inserted into the game as an offensive weapon for Coach Kevin Kovacs. The junior didn't disappoint as he made the biggest basket of his career.
Freshman guard Corey Smith (Miami, Fla.) passed the ball, after he crossed mid-court, to the right corner where Martin received the pass and dodged a leaping Charger defender. Martin calmly pulled up and drained the baseline jumper with 1.8 seconds left.
The basket sent the home crowd into a tizzy while Lancaster Bible was forced to call a timeout to regroup.
The Chargers had one final 3-point attempt at the buzzer but Jordan Shewbridge's shot was off target.
Gallaudet scored the game's first 10 points and the Chargers didn't get on the scoreboard until seven and a half minutes in. The Bison led 34-24 at the half.
Four different Bison reached double figures in the game. Junior center Steve Valencia-Biskupiak (Riverside, Calif.) led the way with 19 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Sophomore guard Preston Kelly (Fishers, Ind.) added 17 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Smith came off the bench to net 13 points, five boards and five helpers while junior guard Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.) tallied 10 points, four rebounds and three assists.
LBC was led by Shewbridge's 19 points, which included five 3-pointers.
Prior to the start of the game, the Bison men's basketball program recognized their two seniors; Jamal Garner (Jacksonville, Ill.) and Cody Crace (Westfield, Ind.); along with their families and friends.
- Sophomore Shawn Daniels (Lakeland, Fla.) added seven points, five rebounds, three assists
- Garner ripped down six boards and poured in five points
- GU scored 32 points in the paint
- This was Gallaudet's first win over LBC since Feb. 4, 2017; a 75-65 win at home
- The victory snaps a three-game skid against the Chargers
- The all-time series is now tied at 9-9
- GU is 6-3 against LBC in the Field House
Gallaudet will close out the regular season in Williamsport, Pa., this Saturday, Feb. 16, at Penn College (3-20, 2-12 NEAC). The game is slated to tip at 3 p.m.